Looking for a coffee table book about coffee tables . . . I mean the sea? C’mon, you know you want one, even if you just realized it in this moment.
If so, may I suggest The Sea: Day by Day by marine photographer Philip Plisson? In a word, I love this book. I requested it as a Christmas gift shortly after we moved to our island, when I realized I’d never tire of looking at the ocean despite the fact that I was now living beside one. And still, all these years later, I love to browse through its pages, seeing the sea from Plisson’s vantage point.
His photographs are stunning.
I look at them, and then I swoon and then I sigh and then I swoon again, and then a large, middle-age-ish, oddly familiar-looking cabana boy fans me for a second before pouring ice water on my head, talking all the while.
But I digress.
The book is composed of sea-oriented photographs for each day of the year, each accompanied by a descriptive paragraph revealing a piece of the story behind the picture. The photographs are taken from around the world, at all times of the day and year, and include everything from populous coastal cities to deserted coastlines to shots taken mid-ocean. In short order, Plisson takes you from sunset on a lighthouse off the Russian coast to dawn on the Scottish island of Arran to mid-day fishing in Tokyo Bay.
If you’re interested, Plisson has a series of photography books centered around coastal themes. He also has a website, plisson.com, if you’d like to peruse some of his work. His website appears to be written primarily in French, a language I’m spectacularly unfamiliar with, but I’m sure whatever it says is quite lovely.
As many conversations as a coffee table book about coffee tables might inspire, I’m reasonably confident that The Sea: Day by Day will inspire more.